Log In

Reset Password

Seniors in arrears lose FutureCare medication allowance

Senior citizens insured by FutureCare have been told they will no longer get the allowance for life-saving prescription drugs if their premiums are in arrears.

One Bermuda Alliance MP Louise Jackson contends that for some this latest move is virtually a death sentence for seniors in their golden years who have nowhere else to turn.

The letter dated February 17 triggered an onslaught of calls and e-mails to the OBA seniors advocate. Ms Jackson said: “It's a big problem for countless seniors.

“One of the people who contacted me is a senior citizen with end-stage cancer who is behind on their premiums and in need of medication for obvious reasons.”

The letter states that as of February 1, the FutureCare payment process for prescription changed for policy holders in arrears by 30 days or more. As a result pharmacies will no longer fill prescriptions.

When contacted by

The Royal Gazette, Ms Jackson said she was hardly surprised to hear even more seniors are going without medication because they have reached their limit for 80 percent coverage on prescription drugs.

But she said: “This is the first time this has ever happened for seniors behind on their premiums and I think it’s shameful it’s literally a death sentence. To take advantage of vulnerable seniors is really despicable, they are the weakest link in our society and in most cases they cannot fight for themselves.”

Yesterday, Age Concern advocate James McCulloch said an increasing number of seniors were seeking help to pay their light bills with help of the Age Concern Belco Hardship Fund.

The fund, which had $24,000, is nearly depleted due to the increasing number of seniors seeking help to keep their lights on.

Now faced with paying the full price for prescriptions or live without their medicine, Ms Jackson said the problem is compounded by the fact that the Medical Clinic that provided a safety net was closed several years ago by former Premier Dr Ewart Brown.

“This clinic provided physicians, nursing care, medications and screening all under one roof at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, even transportation was provided.”

“Almost every step this Government takes puts even greater pressure on our seniors,” said Ms Jackson. “Seniors are now a Government target and this troubles me deeply.

“Many are being squeezed by Government to pay for its mistakes in managing the public purse, including the interest on its $1.4 billion debt. This couples with the 7.7 percent increase in HIP premiums is shameful.

“Seniors have lost the exemptions for land tax payments and for car relicensing fee payments, health insurance is going up and now this. It's a Government clawback on seniors and I will be raising my concerns during the budget debate in the House of Assembly next Monday.”

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published March 07, 2012 at 8:54 am (Updated March 07, 2012 at 8:54 am)

Seniors in arrears lose FutureCare medication allowance

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon